When Hatchimals Came To Town
The ugliest toy of the season
emerges from its egg—causes
riots in the street. If Furbies had
half-night stands with Tamagotchies—
Which witch is which?
Nevermind Aleppo, nevermind Trump,
somebody just paid $500 for a Hatchimal.
You evil little elves—it’s Christmas.
Somebody had a three-night stand
with a Neanderthal. Hatchimal, Hatchimal,
wherefore art thou Hatchimal?
Is it made of Gold or silver? Does it speak
fluent Latin? It has marbles, they are eyes.
It has an egg, it has a due date.
It’ll be in a landfill by next
season. Will you buy it?
The Real Velveteen Rabbit
The Velveteen Rabbit lies on the bed,
his fortune awaits—will he become Real
some day? Will he lick salt and frolic
with the other rabbits? For now
all they want is for him to lick salt
from the boy’s tears. In the Real version
the rabbit ought to be angry with those
who bought him to begin with.
A furuncle develops deep in his skin,
a tiny bit of Real is trying to break free—
until it erupts. He is becoming Real slowly
then quickly. At first he is hinky—
unsure of himself. Then he becomes
animate and fervent—he shakes and moves
and dances! His fur grows shabby and starts
to grow longer, he becomes bearded
like a goat and becomes older and wiser.
He jumps on the boy’s emerald green dresser
to eat a prune, why shouldn’t it be his?
The boy wouldn’t eat it.
Some might say that he is not as cute
as he used to be but he knows
this doesn’t matter any more
for he is Real and all the other toys
are jealous, as they should be.
This is the Real version of the story.
Who would want to be bought then thrown
into a pile, waiting to be set on fire—
to an oven—I can think of where
that has happened before. To be Real
is not always easy, of course. It hurts
sometimes, they got that part right.
But it hurts especially to know
one was Unreal before.
This is the story they do not teach
so when I became Real I set down
to teach it.
Jill Talbot's writing has appeared in Geist, Rattle, Poetry Is Dead, The Puritan, Matrix, subTerrain, The Tishman Review, The Cardiff Review, PRISM and others. Jill won the PRISM Grouse Grind Lit Prize. She was shortlisted for the Matrix Lit POP Award for fiction and the Malahat Far Horizons Award for poetry. Jill lives on Gabriola Island, BC.